Startups receive boost from Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund

Published: January 19, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS and WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Four more Purdue-affiliated startups each received $20,000 in the latest round of "Black Award" funding from the Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund, bringing the total number of Black Award funding recipients to 31.

Including this round of awards, $620,000 has now been committed to supporting startups through the Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund, Black Awards.

"Because there are so many outstanding startups coming out of Purdue or affiliated with the university, the selection process is always very difficult," said John Hanak, director of venture capital and funding resources for the Purdue Foundry. "These companies, like our past recipients, have high market potential, strong leadership and operational viability, which are all criteria for receiving the funds."

Startups also must be a Purdue Foundry client, be led by Purdue students, faculty or staff, and/or based on intellectual property patented through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization. The Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund is operated jointly by officials from the Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurial and startup hub located on the Purdue University West Lafayette campus, and Elevate Ventures, a private venture development organization that nurtures and develops emerging and existing high-potential businesses into high-performing, Indiana-based companies.

"We are very pleased with the initial success of startups receiving support through the Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund," said Chris LaMothe, Elevate Ventures CEO. "Take ZeroUI as an example. The company received a Black Award in 2015, and its product Ziro was named by Engadget as one of the top 24 innovations out of 3,800 exhibitors at the 2016 international Consumer Electronics Show. The continued development of companies like ZeroUI is critical to the future of Indiana’s entrepreneurial economy."

The startups receiving the funding in this round are all developing innovations that originated at Purdue. These companies are:

Davista Technologies, a high-tech company that specializes in the field of visual analytics with a focus on transforming massive amounts of data into easily understood, actionable information from a multitude of source formats including text, audio and visual data.

Imagine Medical Device Inc., a medical device startup commercializing an innovation that could help people in the advanced stages of diabetes through the safe delivery of high concentration insulin through the development of a syringe specifically designed for that purpose.

Neuro Vigor LLC, a life sciences startup working to improve the lives of patients suffering from neurological diseases or injury to the central nervous system. The company is developing novel drug treatments and diagnostic approaches to reduce symptoms, disability and pain by targeting neuro-toxins which increase inflammation and damage nerve cells.

* Phicrobe, a life sciences startup commercializing a technology that could provide a rapid, simple and inexpensive test for the detection of E. Coli.

As part of the collaboration, Elevate Ventures provides support for four entrepreneurial advisers to work in the Purdue Foundry.

The First-Tier Black Award is in the form of a nonrecourse convertible promissory note, and the promissory note agreements will be finalized directly with Elevate Ventures. The funding is part of a three-year, $2 million targeted investment program through collaboration among the Purdue Foundry, Elevate Ventures and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

The next application period for the Black Award will be announced in early spring.

For more information, entrepreneurs can contact an entrepreneur-in-residence at the Purdue Foundry or John Hanak at 317-616-1860, jmhanak@prf.org.

About the Purdue Foundry

The Purdue Foundry is an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub in Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship where professionals help Purdue innovators create startups. The Purdue Foundry is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2014 Incubator Network of the Year from the International Business Innovation Association for its work in entrepreneurship. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at foundry@prf.org.

About Elevate Ventures

Elevate Ventures is a private venture development organization that nurtures and develops emerging and existing high-potential businesses into high-performing, Indiana-based companies. Elevate Ventures accomplishes this by providing access to capital, rigorous business analysis and robust advisory services that connect companies with the right mix of resources businesses need to succeed long-term. As a not-for-profit organization, Elevate Ventures is able to offer unbiased, in-depth perspective and recommendations. To learn more about Elevate Ventures, its team and its funds under management, visit www.elevateventures.com. 

Media Contacts: Cynthia Sequin, 765-588-3340, casequin@prf.org

Alex Bowers, 317-252-0258, abowers@elevateventures.com